Tuesday Open Thread | Pickup truck parade of confederate flags ends in indictments

Confederate Flag Supporters Indicted in Clash With Black PartygoersDOUGLASVILLE, Ga. — In an unusual legal maneuver, the district attorney in this suburb of Atlanta said Monday that he had won indictments against 15 supporters of the Confederate battle flag, accusing them of violating the state’s anti-street-gang statute during a confrontation with black partygoers in July.

Prosecutors say that members of the group, which calls itself Respect the Flag, threatened a group of blacks attending an outdoor birthday party on July 25. A cellphone video of part of the episode shows several white men driving away from the party in a convoy of pickup trucks with the Confederate battle flag and other banners, including American flags, fluttering from the truck beds.

The partygoers contend that members of the flag group yelled racial slurs and displayed a crowbar, a knife and either a rifle or a shotgun, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group in Montgomery, Ala., that is representing some of the accusers.

The Douglas County district attorney, Brian Fortner, a white Republican elected to the office in 2014, announced the indictments in a news conference Monday morning. Each of the 15 was indicted on one count of making terroristic threats and a second count of unlawfully participating in “criminal gang activity.”

Mr. Fortner, whose county has transformed from predominantly white to decidedly mixed over the past two decades, said that the Georgia statute upon which the second charge is based, the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, was “worded very broadly to deal with any type of activity that occurs with a group that’s organized that commits a crime.”

None of the accused had been arraigned as of Monday, and it was not clear if they had lawyers representing them. By Monday afternoon, none of them had applied for representation with the county public defenders’ office. But a member of the group told a local newspaper that the black partygoers started the confrontation.

Several criminal lawyers and legal scholars said Monday that they could not recall other instances in which a state anti-gang statute had been used to prosecute a Confederate heritage group in the Deep South. The first version of Georgia’s anti-gang law was passed in 1992 at the behest of Atlanta’s police chief at the time, Eldrin Bell.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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78 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread | Pickup truck parade of confederate flags ends in indictments

  1. Ametia says:

    Debate thread is UP!

  2. eliihass says:

    Gosh, I can’t stand this Jess Macintosh (Emily’s List), person…She’s such an unconvincing and shallow propagandist – the amusingly immature, desperate to be seen as knowledgable and relevant, but coming off as ridiculous, superficial and annoying in the same vein of the Ana Marie Coxs, Michele Cottles Jane Hamshers etc. of the world. I think they must all use the same media trainer – I think Alex Wagner must go there too…

    This Emily’s list ‘spokesperson’ only ever managed to compound my irritation and dislike of white feminism in general, and Hillary’s entitled, suffocating candidacy specifically..

  3. eliihass says:

    To be honest, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz,Tulsi Gabbard, Hillary and the lot don’t exactly elicit or represent that confidence, good sense, keen eye, nurturing – nor the excellence, foresight or savvy we desperately need, proclaim and boast that women naturally have and bring as nurturers, sensible organizers and honest, perceptive brokers..

    They’re playing the game just as messy, petty, dirty and underhanded, and in much the same debased way most of those corrupt men are..

    The whole idea of women in leadership is not to outdo men in down in the mud, corrupt tactics and incompetence, but to raise the bar way higher…

  4. Ametia says:

    Is anyone going to watch the Democratic presidential debate tonight?

  5. rikyrah says:

    What The Big GOP Meltdown Reveals From A Guy Who Saw It All Coming
    ByTierney Sneed
    Published October 13, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    The epic GOP meltdown of 2015 should not come as a surprise.

    The modern Republican Party had been careening toward this kind of wheels-off-the-track moment for a long time. Its knee-jerk rejectionism, high-stakes brinksmanship, strict demands for ideological purity, and willingness to take hostages had been on display in one form or another in a series of political clashes since the 1990s.

    But you knew that already if you read the 2012 book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism.” While not predicting the current GOP leadership crisis, it sounded the alarm that the party was on a dangerous course and taking the country with it. The book argued that responsible governance had been severely crippled by the Republican Party’s push to the right and its adoption of take-no-prisoners politicking.

    TPM asked one of the co-authors if he was feeling any vindication.

    “Damn straight I do,” Norman Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said in an interview with TPM late last week. “But I would have rather been proven wrong — honest to God — because we’re talking about the fucking country that is at stake here.”


    • Liza says:

      Well, Miss Debbie has some high hopes for her own future. She plans to glide right in to some big time position on Hillary’s coattails. God help us.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Josh Lederman @joshledermanAP 4m4 minutes ago
    .@PressSec says Obama probably won’t watch the whole debate. “There is some pretty good playoff baseball tonight”

  7. rikyrah says:

    FIRST LOOK: Check Out The Wiz Live!’s Edgy, High-Fashion Costumes


  8. rikyrah says:



    Cop says he tased man because he “got into a power stance.”


  9. rikyrah says:

    Greg Sargent @ThePlumLineGS 4m4 minutes ago
    @digby56 Heh. I’ve been very surprised at vehemence of backlash from Biden supporters to suggestions he stop jerking us around

  10. eliihass says:

    Funny to watch the Clinton campaign and the usual suspects in the media trying to set the tone for the debate and trying to warn-off the other candidates from going too hard on Hillary – or even calling out her weaknesses. The whole thing is amusing. It’s just a joke now.

    If anyone had told me that our party would before our very eyes be playing these ridiculous games and making a complete mockery of the primary process in 2015, I’d never have believed it.

    I’m hoping that one or more of the other candidates step up tonight and turn this thing on its head. I hope they don’t play along and refuse to be used as patsies simply to help ‘improve’ Hillary for the general. This is crazy.

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      Just because Hillary thinks the party owes her the presidency doesn’t mean that the people necessarily want her to be President.

      • eliihass says:

        Practically shutting down debate and participation by as as many qualified Democrats, and having the DNC and career politicos simply playing to her and indulging her, with as many of them recruited to shill for her in exchange for some promised reward, is unfortunately hurting our party.

      • Ametia says:

        IMO, if you put all the candidates together, SANS, VP BIDEN, they don’t measure up to President Obama’s integrity, intelligence, savvy, compassion, world view, need I go on?

    • Ametia says:

      The SHILLING for Clinton has commenced tonight. The cable networks have on the talking heads to DEBATE for Clinton, because God knows this woman can’t honestly stand front & center and claim she is COMPETENT to be POTUS

  11. rikyrah says:

    McConnell eyes changes to rules he used to exploit
    10/13/15 10:57 AM—UPDATED 10/13/15 11:06 AM
    By Steve Benen
    In 2009 and 2010, Democrats enjoyed sizable majorities in the House and Senate, and they used that power to approve some landmark legislation. But as anyone who watched Capitol Hill over those two years knows, Dems wanted to do far more – but were thwarted by Republican obstructionism.

    Then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), ignoring the national election results, hatched a plan: he invested all of his energy in keeping his caucus together, blocking every Democratic proposal, rejecting every attempt at bipartisan outreach, and exploiting Senate procedural rules in ways with no precedent in the American tradition.

    McConnell assumed, accurately, that the public at large has no understanding whatsoever of Senate procedures. All Americans would see is a Democratic House and Democratic Senate struggling at times to approve their own priorities in the face of GOP filibusters. The Republican leader gambled that the public would blame Dems, not the GOP, and that gamble quickly paid dividends.

    Five years later, there’s a Republican House and a Republican Senate that’s struggling to approve far-right priorities, while Democrats play by the same rules McConnell wrote. And wouldn’t you know it, the Kentucky leader is suddenly ready to remove the institutional roadblocks he used to find useful.
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is opening the door to changing the filibuster in response to growing pressure from Republicans angered that Democrats have blocked legislation from reaching the White House.

    McConnell has appointed a special task force to explore changes to the filibuster rule and other procedural hurdles – including whether to eliminate filibusters on motions to proceed to legislation.
    The task force, according to The Hill’s report that has not been verified by MSNBC or NBC News, will include Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).

    McConnell, reflecting on the possible changes, said, “A number of the new senators have come in looking around saying, ‘Why are we doing things this way and not that way.’”

    Yes, and I imagine there were some new Democratic senators who had the same reaction in 2009. At the time, McConnell said every obstructionist tool is sacrosanct, and if Democrats wanted to govern, that wasn’t his problem.


  12. rikyrah says:

    But…they don’t believe in voter registration. Because, you know, RESPECTABILITY POLITICS.
    So, what the phuck will you have to use as leverage, if not a voting block, because, you aren’t interested in doing the HARD WORK of voter registration.


    But where the CRM achieved so much by pushing the Democratic Party, Patrisse is uninterested in aligning BLM with the party. She said BLM will not endorse any candidate. I pressed her on that: endorsing a candidate who wins would lead to BLM having some leverage with that elected official. That’s traditionally how special interests fight for what they need: We deliver you votes when you’re running and you deliver us change when you’re in office. Patrisse said BLM will not be playing that game. “It didn’t work with Barack Obama,” she said.

    Patrisse is more interested in aligning with folks overseas in order to build a global resistance movement. She came to Politicon with a coterie of people from England who wore T-shirts saying “1518 people killed in police custody in England and Wales since 1990. 0 convictions.”


  13. rikyrah says:

    Zeke MillerVerified account‏@ZekeJMiller
    Jeb: “Being on Medicaid isn’t necessarily better than being uninsured”

  14. eliihass says:

    Debbie Wasserman-Schultz wants us to know that as the DNC chair, she’s ‘neutral’. LOL.

    Ok Debbie.

    But enough of the ‘he lost a child and we understand what a difficult time he and his family are going through’ rubbish. Can these people stop patronizing V.P Biden. It’s just so insulting.

    And did anyone in all these years ever hear the DNC chair speak out about the GOP attacks on the Obamas? Anyone..? But now Debbie wants to whip out the same GOP attacks she never took offense to all these years, including the ‘he’s a muslim’ bit originally initiated by the Clinton campaign, to try to gin up anger to get people out and to the polls to vote for Hillary.

    There’s nothing more insulting than not terribly smart people – or rather, arrogant and presumptuous folk who are so obvious in their attempt to manipulate you.

    • Off to tweet this.

    • Ametia says:

      VP Biden can see through the BULLSHIT. DWS ain’t shit, never has been shit, just talking out the side of her neck.

      • eliihass says:

        Not just DWS Ametia, but the whole bunch of them. It’s shocking to watch and listen to the not so slick attitude of the whole lot of them on the Hillary bandwagon. I assumed that after 2008 people learnt lessons and everything would change for the better. But it’s as if we made no headway in the way our politics works and specifically how we behave as Democrats. We know better. What the DNC under DWS and the Clinton campaign are doing is so detrimental to our party in the long-term.

  15. rikyrah says:

    New: Expert who wrote Tamir Rice report publicly suggested officer was justified before he was asked to review case
    Tuesday 13 October 2015 10.39 EDT

    Newly unearthed comments about deadly police shootings made by the two experts who defended an Ohio officer’s killing of Tamir Rice have intensified criticisms of prosecutors for selecting them to review the 12-year-old’s death.

    One appeared to publicly cast doubt on whether the officer who killed Rice was at fault even before he was commissioned to write a report on the case, the Guardian has learned; the other saw her interpretation of a key US supreme court ruling on police shootings rejected by the Justice Department as too generous to officers.

    • eliihass says:

      And we’re supposed to accept this sham of an investigation? For something that is so blatant and clear –

      Murdering a 12year old kid in broad daylight and claiming he appeared to have a gun – in an open-carry State..?

  16. eliihass says:

    Hope everyone of my family here had a wonderful holiday weekend! Had to share this as it encapsulates all that ails our politics, and how the old entitled, corrupt, manipulative, controlling rich brigade have learnt nothing these past 8 years. They’ve instead sat biding their time waiting to return us to the time and place when they reigned supreme, controlled and manipulated our party – and assumed they also control us as individuals – played base politics and brazenly manipulated everything to get the outcomes they want.

    A Politico reporter was actually invited to cover this shindig on record, and allowed to report their thoughts. If this isn’t hubris and entitlement, I don’t know what is. The fact that these individuals (I’ll share more about Susie Tompkins Buell who used to actually picket President Obama with actual signs every time he came to San Francisco, under some bogus environmental course or other – including the Keystone XL issue even as her good friend Hillary was SoS presiding over the process!), think that they get to make the decisions and impose their will, desires and good pal on us – and that the rest of us are expected to simply fall in line because we aren’t worth hundreds of millions of dollars, would be amusing if it weren’t so insulting.

    “…SAN FRANCISCO — As Hillary Clinton heads into the first Democratic debate Tuesday, some of her top donors and allies are feeling encouraged for the first time in months.

    But they’re also filled with deep anxiety about Joe Biden’s potential candidacy, a prospect that stands to sow the seeds of division just as they see Clinton moving beyond the email controversy to a place where her personality and policy command are breaking through. Those conflicting feelings were on display at a private dinner in San Francisco on Wednesday night, where mega-donor Susie Tompkins Buell held court before a group of about 15 major party donors and Clinton loyalists…

    The group — which included former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm; major Obama bundler-turned-Clinton-supporter Wade Randlett; former ambassador to Hungary Eleni Kounalakis; Obama bundler Steve Spinner; Democratic fundraiser Mary Pat Bonner; and Steve Silberstein, a major Bay Area donor, and others — lifted their glasses to David Brock, the right-wing-hitman-turned-pro-Clinton crusader, and McCarthy, and drank.

    “I’m concerned that the first bumpy road she hits — and there’s a man ready to knock her out, I’ve seen this before,” said Kounalakis, a close Clinton ally who is hosting a fundraiser in San Francisco for Clinton in November, and is viewed as potentially a major donor in 2016. “I’m worried we’re not accustomed to having a woman candidate at this level, and we don’t have the language to fight sexist attacks.”

    Buell, who over the past 10 years has given $25 million to progressive groups and candidates, shook her head at the prospect of a Biden candidacy.

    Another supporter at the table said she was concerned that “if Clinton loses New Hampshire and Iowa, Biden will choose to get in,” while others expressed disgust at Biden’s appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” which they said look staged, and like he was launching an opportunistic campaign out of grief. “It makes me out of my mind,” one dinner guest complained.

    The focus on Biden — and McCarthy’s remarks — obscured the relative absence of discussion on the candidate currently leading Clinton in the polls in New Hampshire — Bernie Sanders.

    The dinner, attended by a POLITICO reporter, was put together in honor of Brock, who was in town for a talk about his new book, “Killing the Messenger: The Right-Wing Plot to Derail Hillary and Hijack Your Government.” He sat across from Buell and her husband, Mark, a brief moment of celebration during a grueling 28-city book tour that stretches through the primaries, and is organized with some guidance from the Clinton campaign.

    At a book event held at the Century Club of California, Buell, who is a major donor to Brock’s web of organizations, bragged about how much Bill Clinton enjoyed Brock’s latest book, despite a harsh review from The New York Times dismissing it as “an extended press release.”

    After receiving a copy from Brock in the Hamptons last August, “Bill stayed up all night and read it, and called him in the morning and thanked him and said it’s the best thing that’s been written about this,” Buell boasted to the audience. “I don’t know what we would have done if David hadn’t done what he has done.”

    But some who attended his event last week still harbored concerns.

    “What I worry about is women who are my age, 67, pro-Hillary all the way the first time, and who now say, ‘I just don’t believe her,’” said JoAnn Loulan, development director at the Progressive Women Silicon Valley.

    He admitted that the enthusiasm for the campaign may be late to develop.

    “When we get to that general election, given the stakes, people are going to get the stakes — protecting the Supreme Court, protecting and expanding on President Obama’s legacy,” he said. “It’s going to get exciting, and people are going to get excited.”


    So, they’ll kneecap out all competition, and then get us to vote for Hillary out of fear – Right.

    Meanwhile, they also intend to deploy POTUS and FLOTUS to campaign for Hillary. You know that’s all their good for. They won’t respect or defer to the Obamas, they only exist as slave labor to be utilized to make Hillary’s dreams come true. The Obamas will be expected to make themselves entirely available, and give completely of themselves without complaint – doing exactly as they’re told to ensure that the dreams and desires of entitled white folk are fully met. Or else..

    • I’m not voting for Hillary and not voting for any candidate just because they’re male or female. I’m voting for the best candidate..period.

    • Ametia says:

      That’s my lady, eliihaas!

      There is absolutely NOTHING the Clintons can do at this juncture to ever get me EXCITED to vote for Hillary. NOTHING. And she and her entire camp can certainly MISS ME with the GOP scare tactics.

  17. Ametia says:

    The scariest candidate in the GOP IS A BLACK MAN? REALLY?

    The GOP’s scariest candidate
    By Eugene Robinson Opinion writer October 12 at 7:31 PM

    The craziest thing about the Republican presidential contest isn’t that Donald Trump is in the lead. It’s that Dr. Ben Carson — who truly seems to have lost his mind — is in second place and gaining fast.

    Trump may be a blowhard, but Carson has proved himself to be a crackpot of the first order. Of all the GOP contenders, he’s the scariest.


    • eliihass says:

      Ben Carson is an easy patsy especially for cowards who are too afraid to concede that as crazy a he is, Carson does not even begin to represent the worst of the GOP. He’s the low hanging fruit of whipping boys. He’s blah. He’s never going to have the protection the rest of the white crazies have. And he’s the only one Seth Rogan will ever have the nerve to say “F” you to… Dear Ben and Candy will soon get their wake-up call..

      For years people much worse than Ben Carson have been saying and doing the most horrible things including holding us all hostage and literally grinding our country and democracy to a halt, and the media and some in our party including black journos like Eugene either went mute, pretended they didn’t hear or see what was happening, while the rest yucked it up with and praised the very racists and crazies spearheading the madness – even giving them prime billing on t.v shows and at other events.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Iran parliament approves nuclear deal with world powers
    By Arthur MacMillan 1 hour ago

    Tehran (AFP) – Iran’s parliament approved the country’s nuclear deal
    with world powers Tuesday, paving the way for the historic agreement
    curbing Tehran’s atomic programme to take effect and for sanctions to

    The vote came after fierce debate among lawmakers over the terms of the accord, which was struck on July 14 but has faced a rough ride from
    hardliners in Tehran and in the US Congress.


  19. rikyrah says:

    How Prosecutors Get Away With Cutting Black Jurors

    This term, the Supreme Court will consider an outrageous case of prosecutorial misconduct. But will it do anything about it?

    A curious thing happened at the trial of Timothy Tyrone Foster, a young black man accused of killing an elderly white woman: Every black prospective juror was dismissed. Foster was convicted, and sentenced to death, by an all-white jury.

    Even more curious: There were 42 prospective jurors that morning, five of whom were black. All dismissed, four of whom by “peremptory challenge,” in which the prosecutor strikes a juror at his or her discretion. In Georgia, where Foster’s trial took place, prosecutors have 10 such options.


  20. rikyrah says:

    More Barbara Byrd-Bennett CPS Contracts Under Scrutiny

    There are more questions about multimillion-dollar contracts Chicago Public Schools gave to firms that had previous associations with disgraced schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett.

    “Chicago Tonight” has learned of a probe into another contract where a firm with ties to Byrd-Bennett received CPS business. This as Byrd-Bennett is expected to plead guilty Tuesday to charges that she steered $23 million in CPS money to SUPES Academy and Synesi Associatesin exchange for bribes and kickbacks.

    The arrangement in question: a $31 million contract to help CPS manage the controversial closing and consolidation of 50 schools that took place two years ago. It’s under scrutiny, “Chicago Tonight” has learned, because of ties between former CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and one of the companies that received that business.

    A company called Global Workplace Solutions won the $30.9 million bid to help close the schools. The duties involved relocating records, removing contents, furnishings and equipment from the closed schools, and then securing the closed schools. A portion of the business was subcontracted to a company called The Robert Bobb Group, a company run by Robert Bobb, the former Emergency Financial Manager for Detroit Public Schools. Bobb hired Byrd-Bennett in Detroit in 2009 as Chief Academic Auditor and paid her a salary of $18,000 per month.

    A document explains what his private company did during the CPS school closing deal, including “managing and processing the active business and financial records during the consolidation of the closed Chicago Public Schools” and “collecting, processing, sorting, batching, packing, annotating boxes … shipping student records.”


  21. rikyrah says:

    How Steve Jobs Fleeced Carly Fiorina

    The former HP CEO boasted of her friendship with Apple’s leader — but he took her to the cleaners with the iPod

    During Carly Fiorina’s triumphant performance in the wretched carnival that was the second Republican debate, she picked the perfect moment to play the Steve Jobs card. The subject had turned to her tenure as the CEO of HP, the single aspect of her resume that vaguely qualifies her as a presidential candidate. Industry observers have contended that she did her job poorly, and, indeed, when the board dismissed her in 2005, HP’s stock price rose by seven percent. Meanwhile, Fiorina fell to earth with the aid of a $40 million golden parachute.

    Her comeback to this at the debate? Steve Jobs was on her side! She shared a story — which may well be true — about how Apple’s late CEO had called to remind her that he had been fired as well, and it wasn’t the end of the world. “Been there, done that — twice,” he told her. Unlike Jobs, however, Fiorina did not go on to start a company, buy another small company and sell it for billions, or return to the place that fired her and restore it to glory. But the point of the story was that Steve was on her side, and by aligning herself with the sainted innovator, Fiorina racked up triple-bonus debate points.

    Ms. Fiorina’s trainwreck stint at HP has been well documented. But I want to address one tiny but telling aspect of her misbegotten reign: an episode that involved her good friend Steve Jobs. It is the story of the HP iPod.

    The iPod, of course, was Apple’s creation, a groundbreaking digital music player that let you have “a music library in your pocket.” Introduced in 2001, it gained steam over the next few years and by the end of 2003, the device was a genuine phenomenon. So it was news that in January 2004, Steve Jobs and Carly Fiorina made a deal where HP could slap its name on Apple’s wildly successful product. Nonetheless, HP still managed to botch things. It could not have been otherwise, really, because Steve Jobs totally outsmarted the woman who now claims she can run the United States of America.


  22. rikyrah says:

    As his campaign thrives, Carson sees liberal ‘schizophrenia’
    10/13/15 09:20 AM—UPDATED 10/13/15 09:24 AM
    by Steve Benen

    As Ben Carson propensity for bizarre ideas and rhetoric becomes more alarming, it’s tempting to think his campaign for the nation’s highest office would start to unravel. After all, voters have traditionally tried to put the presidency in the hands of grounded individuals.

    But the retired right-wing neurosurgeon is blazing his own trail. The New York Times reports today that Carson’s aides “feared that his habit of inflammatory remarks would sink his presidential hopes,” and they even “sent him to media training,” the lessons of which he evidently disregarded. As it turns out, however, it doesn’t matter – Carson’s unhinged qualities don’t seem to be hurting his campaign at all.

    The Times’ report noted, for example, that after Carson said religious minorities he doesn’t like should be disqualified from the presidency, “his campaign has watched grass-roots support grow and donations pour in.” Aides who were worried about public reactions to the candidate’s bizarre antics have “backtracked, deciding, in the words of one, to ‘let Carson be Carson.’”

    And when Carson is himself, he apparently accuses liberals of “schizophrenia.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported on the GOP candidate’s trip to a Georgia megachurch over the weekend, where Carson shared his views on blurring the lines between religion and government.


  23. rikyrah says:

    The Freedom Caucus is a Minor Third Party

    by BooMan
    Mon Oct 12th, 2015 at 12:10:19 PM EST

    At the Washington Post, Jonathan Capehart does an admirable job of explaining why John Boehner failed as Speaker, why Kevin McCarthy would have fared no better, and why Paul Ryan would have to be a full-blown moron to agree to take the job. But he leaves out the most important part.

    It’s easy to say that a lot of the Republicans who were elected to Congress since Obama took office are unwilling to be led. Yes, they came in with a mandate to burn-the-mutha-down, not a mandate to work out unsatisfying compromises with the president and his party.

    What’s making Congress ungovernable, though, isn’t that there is some innate superiority to being a squishy compromiser over a dedicated reformer. The problem is that these reformers want to use tactics that are so problematic that they can’t find leaders who will continue to employ them after they’ve proven ineffective for the cause and destructive to the country’s credit rating.

    Back when our country seriously flirted with defaulting on our debt, Speaker Boehner made it clear to anyone who would listen that it was an insane idea that he would never allow to happen. But he humored his new radicalized majority-making members for too long and the credit downgrade came anyway.

    After the last government shutdown caused a huge decline in popularity for the Republican Party, both Boehner and now-U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged that there would be no more government shutdowns. They have repeated that pledge over and over again since that time.

    As I’ve explained several times, the Republicans who refuse to stop demanding government shutdowns and debt ceiling brinksmanship are not best understood as wayward lawmakers who won’t accept any leadership. They are best understood in the parliamentary sense as being a party in their own right. In our system, they are still called Republicans, but in any other system they would be a minor party that has allied itself with another larger party to form a majority. They would be given some kind of token power like control over a minor ministry, which in our system of divided government would translate to either low-level congressional leadership positions or the chairmanship of low-priority committees. In a parliamentary system, their power would flow from the fact that they could cause the Prime Minister to fall if they withdrew their support. In our Congress, they can likewise bring a Speaker down provided that the Democrats go along with it.

    As long as the so-called Freedom Caucus of Republicans continues to demand a continuance of government shutdowns and debt ceiling brinksmanship, they do not belong in the majority and should not have any say in who the next Speaker will be. To be more precise, their preference for Speaker would not win out, and the result would be that they would have to serve in the minority in the House.


    • rikyrah says:

      from the article:

      From the Politico article:

      … In 2012, both sides in the general election invested enough on television, but only one side invested enough in registering and turning out the vote. The Obama campaign registered 3 million voters (a good chunk of its national popular vote margin), and had 3,000 full-time organizers on payroll whose mission was to “organize themselves out of a job.” This meant that staffers were explicitly told not to call voters and knock on doors, and instead focus exclusively on recruiting a massive volunteer army who could do the job instead. This process of “capacity building,” as it was referred to internally (and documented extensively in Elizabeth McKenna and Hahrie Han’s academic book, Groundbreakers), allowed the Obama campaign to scale its operations an order of magnitude beyond the Romney campaign. On Election Day, the president over-performed the final polling averages by 3 points, a possible indicator that his turnout operation had done the trick.

      This legacy influences the party’s 2016 hopefuls today. According to Democracy in Action, a website that uses Federal Election Committee data and press reports to track campaign structure and organization, Clinton has a staff of at least 90 in Iowa, with an additional 100 unpaid organizing fellows, and at least 17 field offices. Bernie Sanders’ Iowa staff has grown to more than 50, with 14 offices. In Democratic circles, an operation of that size is not considered a luxury available only to front-runners like Clinton, but a prerequisite for being taken seriously. Though gaps in reporting are likely, Democracy in Action reports that no Republican candidate has more than 10 full-time staff in any early voting state (not counting consultants and volunteer leaders).

      These numbers speak to a stark divide in what Republicans and Democrats find valuable in campaigns. For Democrats, it’s field. For Republicans, it’s gross ratings points on TV. The Republican position might be understandable at the moment; no one wants to sink money on a big staff in a fragmented field and risk not having enough to capitalize on late momentum. (Scott Walker would probably tell you this.) But failing to invest in staff will make adjusting to the very different terrain of the general election a major challenge for Republicans once the Trump freak show ends. And, make no mistake, it is likely to end…

      The Republican approach may be completely rational in a Hobbesian primary, where TV advertising can assist in defining candidates who still relatively unknown. The challenge the GOP will face is in adapting to the general election—not just message-wise, but in scaling an operation in an era of mass engagement. Many would argue that widespread mistrust of Clinton and an aversion to “Obama’s third term” should be enough to ensure a Republican victory. Such talk is political malpractice. The duty of a political campaign is to press every small advantage possible on every front, because the fundamentals of the election (the economy, or identity of the opponent) are often out of its control. Lessons forged in the parochialism of a primary may not be enough to ensure victory in the general election. Despite the obvious headwinds they may face in 2016, the two leading Democrats are at least trying to win their primary in a way that might pay dividends a year from now. Because of the primary campaigns each are running, Clinton or Sanders would be able to more easily roll over an experienced field team into a general election contest…

      Field organizing is old-school and digital fundraising is new-school, but what both have in common is a philosophical commitment to building a campaign one voter and one donor at a time. Once critical mass is reached, both are perpetual motion machines for voter outreach and fundraising. This is in contrast to the emphasis on mass communications we are likely to see in the Republican primary.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Hell yes, it’s too young to suspend a student

    Is kindergarten too young to suspend a student?

    October 12, 2015 at 6:00 PM ET


  25. rikyrah says:

    Janet Jackson Makes History With Seventh #1 Album
    Oct 12, 2015

    Janet Jackson is no stranger to chart-topping success but it must be especially sweet with Unbreakable, her first release since 2008’s Discipline. The release is her 7th #1 album release but it comes with another distinction as well. Jackson is only the third artist to have a number one album release in three different decades.

    Billboard.com reports:

    The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Oct. 24-dated chart (where Jackson is No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s Web sites on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

    Unbreakable — which was released on Oct. 2 — arrives atop the chart with 116,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Oct. 8, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, the set sold 109,000 in pure album sales.


  26. rikyrah says:

    Queen Latifah, Smokey Robinson to Help Obamas Celebrate Arts

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Queen Latifah, Smokey Robinson and Trombone Shorty are among the performing artists who will help celebrate the arts at the White House on Wednesday.

    They will be joined by Usher, James Taylor, Audra McDonald and others for a PBS special hosted by President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. The event will mark the 50th anniversary of legislation that created the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Carol Burnett is scheduled to perform special readings.

    The latest installment of the “In Performance at the White House” series is scheduled for broadcast in January on PBS stations nationwide.

    Mrs. Obama plans a student workshop with Robinson, Keb’ Mo’, MC Lyte, Esperanza Spalding and others before the evening performance.


  27. rikyrah says:

    A Void Only Joe Biden Can Fill

    Spandan Chakrabarti | October 12, 2015

    For a while now, we have had some fun watching the clown show that is known as the Republican presidential primary. But with tomorrow’s first Democratic primary debate coming up, things on our side are heating up, and the media is abuzz with talk of how Hillary Clinton will defend against Bernie Sanders – and whether, pundits say with time running out – Joe Biden will enter the race.

    Joe Biden is already polling in third place, and he hasn’t even declared. The organizers of Tuesday night’s debate are even setting aside a podium for him in case he makes a last-minute decision.

    I for one hope that podium gets filled.

    The CBS polling that has Biden rounding up the top three candidates for the Democratic nomination reveals critical voids only Joe Biden can fill. The Vice President is better positioned in the general election than either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders (who has no chance in the general if Republicans can get their act together even a little bit). Biden is the only person polled in either party who crosses the 50% mark among all voters on all four areas polled: leadership, trust, experience and empathy.

    Except for “strong leadership qualities” – which, among the right wing has come to mean the biggest phallic-jerker – where Trump has an edge, Joe Biden also beats every other top-polling candidate, Democratic and Republican, in every other category of presidential qualities among the American electorate at large.

    Biden and Clinton do cross the critical threshold of 50% on leadership, however, with Biden at 55% and Clinton at 53%. Voters don’t see the man planning to podium pound his way to the White House as a leader despite his supporters’ insistence that he’d get everything done by the power of sheer will, ranking him near the bottom of the pack at 39%.


  28. rikyrah says:

    South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier retires
    Spurrier, a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Florida and legendary coach for the Gators and at South Carolina, has decided to retire, Evans tweeted. The move comes amid a 2-4 start for his Gamecocks. Multiple reports have indicated that Spurrier informed the team he is retiring, but who will replace him is uncertain. The State’s Josh Kendall reports that quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus is expected to become the interim coach on Tuesday, while FOXsports.com’s Alex Marvez tweets that offensive line coach Shawn Elliott is taking up the reins.


  29. rikyrah says:

    What Exxon knew about climate change, and when it knew it
    10/12/15 12:43 PM
    By Steve Benen
    It’s been well established over many years that Exxon is one of the world’s leading voices when it comes to denying the evidence of climate change. What’s new, however, are reports that the oil giant has quietly operated for decades on the assumption that the scientific evidence is real.

    The L.A. Times had a fascinating piece on this yesterday, which deserves to have an impact on the broader policy discussion.
    [In 1990] in the far northern regions of Canada’s Arctic frontier, researchers and engineers at Exxon and Imperial Oil were quietly incorporating climate change projections into the company’s planning and closely studying how to adapt the company’s Arctic operations to a warming planet.
    Of particular interest are the efforts of Ken Croasdale, a senior researcher for Exxon’s Canadian subsidiary, who reportedly focused considerable effort into “trying to determine how global warming could affect Exxon’s Arctic operations and its bottom line.”
    Between 1986, when Croasdale took the reins of Imperial’s frontier research team, until 1992, when he left the company, his team of engineers and scientists used the global circulation models developed by the Canadian Climate Centre and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies to anticipate how climate change could affect a variety of operations in the Arctic.

    These were the same models that – for the next two decades – Exxon’s executives publicly dismissed as unreliable and based on uncertain science.
    This is no small detail. Based on the L.A. Times’ reporting, Exxon accepted the fact that climate change is real. Exxon also put those beliefs into action, basing company decisions on the available science.


  30. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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